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tv   News  Al Jazeera  February 23, 2015 9:00am-9:31am EST

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ews. weeknights, on al jazeera america . >> the u.n. envoy to syria heads to damascus for talks on a deal for allepo, but said the odds are against him. >> the oscar goes to "bird man."
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>> a satire about an aging movie star takes flight at this year's oscars. we'll tell you who else took home a golden statueette. >> a leading figure egypt's 2011 uprising has been handled add five year jail sentence by a court in cairo. prominent blogger and activist is tried for violating egypt's protest law. he and other defendants face charges relating to one protest in 2013 in the capitol. we have a report. >> any activist could not believe the verdict monday against a prominent egyptian blogger. they were accused of attacking a
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security personnel. >> he was sentenced to five years hard labor and for each defendant to pay the amount of $13,000. >> the families hoping for justice were disappointed. pro democracy campaigners and politicians criticized the decision to punish peaceful protestors. >> this is an oppression and a continuation to stifle descent from the youth. they were only holding a peaceful protest. these youth didn't have any criminal or violent record. this is one of the way to say oppress the youth. >> many outside egypt condemned the law and have been calling for the release of activists. the egyptian president sisi gave a each, acknowledging there might be wrongfully arrested people in prison. he said over the next few days, some in detention will be reds.
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some believed he would be among them for his secular views and playing a part in anti morsi demonstrations. his role as a pro democracy campaigner is what got him praise abroad but ennitty with security forces at home. he was first arrested in 2011. >> for them, the military to have committed a mass ask her in front of the world's eyes, on camera and all sorts of witnesses and then they try and turn it around and accuse us of incidents gate ago crime. >> a retrial was ordered. he will appeal against the latest verdict in one more attempt to seek justice. his lawyer says that he continues to believe people have
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the right to peaceful protest. al jazeera. >> nicholas is a researcher for amnesty international. he said the sentence came as no surprise. >> it was never a question of if he would go to jail, it was a question of when. let's be clear this isn't justice, this is a vendetta, aimed at ripping the heart out of egypt's protest movement. there's no reason for protestors or people of a different opinion. he was seen at public enemy number one for his protesting and he will join others behind bars for challenging egyptian authorities. we've seen dirty tricks in the courtroom. i think we should look at the bigger picture here, the generation that grew up in the shadow of mubarak who overthrew him are now languishing behind bars for doing just that. it's deeply disturbing to see how 2011's generation of protest
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has become 2015's generation of jail. we're deeply disappointed for the silence of the international community, telling protestors that we have your back, we finally believe after backing mubarak for so long in democracy and human rights, the truth is they are conspicuous by their silence today. they're busy koasing up to al sisi administration selling fighter jets and booking tickets to an investment conference in march. this is gross hypocrisy. this was a politically motivated case from start to finish. they were jailed for years, with the defendants trying to get into court while the judge was sentencing them. this is the justice system spiraling out of control sentencing protestors to prison and letting those who shot protestors go free.
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>> we have a report from nairobi about the course's decision on security laws. >> things didn't go well for the state. in fact, the lawyers weren't very impressed with the ruling. the high court judges basically said that it was unconstitutional. the issue of refugees, kenya has a big problem with refugees. recently, the government said there can only be 150,000 in the country. the judges say that is unconstitutional, you can't expel anyone from kenya that goes against human rights.
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there will be an appeal. >> what is the reaction? >> they are divided. the opposition say at the end of the day you can't really just violate someone's rights just because you think they are a terrorist before you proofed it. some say the government has taken way too long for dealing with al shabab fighters and attacks. some say the government does need more power to do their job. on the streets, the feeling is divided. they've got to watch the courts very carefully and see if and when the state lawyers do make an appeal at the appeals court. >> thank you very much indeed, on the line from nairobi. >> nigeria's president goodluck jonathan said he had underestimated the threat of boko haram according to an
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interview he gave. boko haram has carried out attacks in the northeast and controls an area as big as belgium. we have this update from the capitol. >> during this interview given to a local newspaper president goodluck jonathan touched on the key issues, the key thing the fight against boko haram in the northeast area. during the interview, he basically said that within the next three to four weeks, boko haram would be significantly diminished by the nigerian military, not eliminated, but their power seriously reduced. he also admitted that the authorities had made mistakes in its fight against boko haram that they had underestimated the capacity of the group but that now, soldiers were far better equipped to deem with the crisis. now what's the likely reaction from the public to this interview? divided. hate to be said there are knows who will welcome this interview and be happy that president jonathan is speaking directly
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now about what the government is doing to try and deal with the country's problems, but there are those in the opposition and opposition supporterses who will say that this is too little too late. elections are coming up on march 28 and this is just an attempt by president jonathan to try and bolster public support for him and for his government, when confidence in what he's been doing to fight boko haram and other issues like corruption is at an all time low. >> the u.n. special envoy to syria is heading to damascus for another round of talks saying they're securing a freeze to fighting in aleppo. he has admitted to al jazeera that the chances of a deal are very slim, but said the u.n. will never give up. just about every fighting group has a stake in the conflict. the latest word is that government fores are losing
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ground. let's look at the plan. he's received an initial commitment from president assad to stop aerial and artillery attacks in allepo for six weeks. he'll leave to istanbul for talks to encourage a pullback. the idea is for a halt in all aerial bombardment and attacks using heavy weapons across the city of aleppo. >> in the last week alone, 14 civilians have been killed in the province of allepo, according to the syrian observatory for human rights. we take a closer look at the situation on the ground. >> fighting in strategically important allepo province is fierce and complicated.
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here the free syrian army blew up anti tank rockets. rebel groups are fighting soldiers from the regime. there are many other sides involved in this war. last week, forces fighting for syrian president bashar al assad, iran and hezbollah said they'd taken part in the northern suburbs of aleppo. rebels have since made ground for taking areas they lost to assad, killing his men and taking some prisoners, they say. >> right now, we are here in the village and managed to free the whole town from assad's gangs and the iranians. >> the rebels also lost many men in this fight. some belong to al-nusra front, an al-qaeda-affiliated group. isil is also fighting for control of aleppo. it recently withdrew from some suburbs, but remains a threat. it has supply routes for government and rebel forces. winning would be psychologically important for any side involved in the fight. >> it's a big city. the biggest in syria. it's the commercial heart of the country. it has incredibly strategic
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links to turkey in the north, to the heartland in the center and towards lebanon, towards the isil controlled areas, the kurdish areas in the east, so it's a very, very important symbolic issue that the government and rebels are both willing to fight to maintain their control or at least the areas that they control, because the city's divided. >> meanwhile, cultural heritage is being wiped out. these images taken from a drone camera show what little is left in the old city, one of the country's six unesco world heritage sites. aleppo is becoming more difficult to live without electricity or access to food. many hospitals are not functioning well, if at all. that makes a ceasefire all the more important, but no more likely as this kind of intense fighting continues. al jazeera.
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>> still ahead australia gets tougher on immigration following a deadly siege in sydney. >> in pakistan, people are scrambling to register their prepaid mobile phones before they are blocked.
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>> the new al jazeera america primetime. get the real news you've been looking for. at 7:00, a thorough wrapup of the day's events. then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. and at 9:00, get a global perspective on the news. weeknights, on al jazeera america . >> a leading figure in egypt's 2011 uprising has been sentenced to five years in jail. prominent blogger and anti mubarak activist was tried for violating egypt's protest law.
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he and 24 other defendants face charges relating to one protest in 2013. >> kenya high court ruled unconstitutional detaining terror suspects for a year without charge. refugees won't be expelled from kenya under this new law. >> as nigeria's president goodluck jonathan said he underestimated the threat of boko haram. he made the comment from an interview. boko haram controls an air as big as belgium. >> australia's prime minister has announced new measures to tackle the threat posed by terrorism in australia. the new laws are designed to contact what tony abbott calls homegrown terrorists. some muslims feel they are unfairly targeted. >> walking back from the doctor with her youngest sister. she found a man blocking their path.
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>> we moved to the side, but he kept on coming towards us and he whacked me with his shoulder and called me a bloody terrorist. >> she says she's increasingly concerned about how muslims are perceived. >> when people look at me, they think that because she's wearing a scarf, she must be a terrorist. >> on monday, as he announced new measures to counter the terrorist threat, australia's prime minister suggested muslims could do more to help. >> i've often heard western leaders describe islam as a religion of peace. i wish more muslim leaders would say that more often and mean it. >> tony abbott said threats were rising. a december siege in a sydney cafe showed how an individual can cause havoc. >> the prime minister said authorities have 400 high priority counter terrorism investigations running, double the number of a year ago. he also said 110 australians
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have traveled to iraq and syria to fight and could prove dangerous if they returned home. >> too often, abbott said, the system was giving people the benefit of the doubt. >> if there's a choice between latitude for suspects or more powers to police and security agencies, more often, we should choose to support our agencies. >> new proposals include a counter terrorism coordinator. and vevoking the citizenship of those with dual nationality if they are thought to be a threat. >> withdrawing citizenship under what circumstances and what sort of court test is there going to be on that? >> further proposals to ban groups if they make excuse for islamist fanatics concern many. >> this issue if you're with us or against us, very george bush like is unheful and will impact on short term security interests
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and also long term security interests. >> the danger say some is that measures to tackle threats could alienate the very people australia's government most need help from. >> al jazeera sydney. >> people are queuing up in pakistan to register their mobile as i am cards. they all have to be accounted for. the government launch add scheme after a taliban attack on a school in peshawar willed 145 people in december. we have more. >> under the government's new action plan, the minister of interior has made it mandatory that all phone providers within pakistan will have to reverify the sims that are registered to its customers. people with numbers will have to go show their identity papers.
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you can see people queuing across pakistan at the telephone company offices in order to ensure that their phones are not blocked. after the deadline, any unverified sims will be blocked. people will have to bring their national identity card and go through a biometric process. the government said it is doing this in order to make sure these sims are not used in heinous crimes and acts of terror. many of the bomb blasts that have taken place in pakistan have taken place through mobile telephones. the government now wants to ensure that there are no loopholes left there, but importantly, it has to deal with 103 million sims, a herculean task by any stretch of the imagination. >> human rights watch is accusing houthi rebels in yemen of human rights violations. houthis dispersed protests
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saturday. there is a concern that they have regularly beaten and detained protestors. >> the u.s. secretary of state john kerry and iran's foreign minister have met for a second day of nuclear talks in geneva. kerry said significant gaps still remain ahead of a march deadline for a deal. a november target date has already been missed. >> the retrial of two al jazeera journalists egypt has been adjourned. baher mohammed and mohamed fahmy are accused of aiding the muslim brotherhood. a new court date has been set for march eight. >> it was a familiar scenario inside an egyptian courtroom for mohamed fahmy and baher mohammed. the judge postponed their retrial until march 8. >> again, the same
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inefficiencies, witnesses don't show up, the evidence -- that's the responsibility of the court, so i don't get it. >> fahmy and mohamed were freed on bail earlier this month but still bear the weight of criminal charges and a retrial. the men are accused of aiding the muslim brotherhood. it was declared a terrorist organization just four days before they were arrested on december 29, 2013. fahmy mohamed and peter greste spent more than a year behind bars. greste was deported to his native australia a few weeks ago. fahmy relinquished his egyptian citizenship in the hopes deportation would follow. instead, he remains egypt. he and mohamed are required to check in with police each day. >> i wait and see, but i'm happy that i was returned back. i will not stay in prison. i'm happy that i'm going back to my family. >> mohamed only recently met the youngest of his three children
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for the first time. his son was born during his imprisonment. the waiting and uncertainty continues. for fahmy, the toll is becoming unbearable. >> it's become really costly for me, and on every level emotionally, financially, my whole family is stressed. >> legal experts have called the case against the men a farce. six other al jazeera journalists have been sentenced in absentia to a decade each behind bars. throughout their plight, journalists across the globe have come to their defense with protest. it's a campaign that will continue until all the journalists are exonerated. >> north korea banned foreign runners from participating in an international marathon in april. authorities are concerned about the spread of ebola virus. north carolina is thousands of miles away from the outbreak in west africa and as reported, no cases of the virus. it's borders have remained closed to foreign tourists since
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last october because of fears the virus might spread. tour companies reported that north korean authorities canceled the annual math games this year. >> thailand sentenced two actors to two and a half years in jail for insulting the monarchy in a play. dozen protested outside the courthouse. the play is about a fictional king and his advisers. >> >> al jazeera's investigative unit has obtained hundred was secret intelligence documents from agencies around the world. in the coming days, we'll reveal the spy cables in collaboration with a.j. plus and the guardian newspaper. here's a roundup of what's in store.
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>> the spy cables. hundreds was intelligence documents leaked to al jazeera's investigative unit ranging from confidential to top secret, they come from the word's major agencies israel's, mousad, and south africa, facing its largest and possibly motor damaging leak. >> state security agency -- edward snowden. i think south africa is shocked at the slideback of the democratic controls on the security apparatus. >> over the coming days, al jazeera will reveal a wide range of stories contained within the spy cables. documents will be redacted to protect identities.
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the stories expose dozen was operational secrets from around the globe dating 2006, right up to december of last year, including the plans of several countries. >> presidents, ministers use the intelligence services for their own political purposes, which can also have it played the other way, where the agencies manipulate the politicians for their own agendas. >> the papers reveal abuses of power and coverups carried out by the world's intelligence agencies. they expose unethical actions and embarrassing security failures. the spy cables offer an unprecedented insilent into the highly politicized and secret
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world of intelligence. al jazeera. >> our currently of the spy cables begins here on al jazeera at 1800g.m.t. and we also have coverage on our site, of course, aljazeera.com. >> hollywood's biggest night is over. handed out and academy award watchers say it was predictable with "bird man" taking the top award for best picture. we have a roundup of who went home with the golden statueette. >> the oscar goes to bird man! >> it was inevitable it would be this or boyhood who took the big one. it didn't yield best actor, that
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went to the performance in theory of everything. the accept answer speech slightly clumsy, but humble. this is a man just getting the hang of the business. >> this oscar -- this oscar -- this belongs to all of those people around the world battling. >> the oscar goes to julianne moore. >> she is storming through awards season, taking everything she comes across. patricia arquette, the best supporting actress, 12 years in the making, this film, and she had a very big political point to make. >> it's our time to have wage equality once and for all and
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equal rights for women in the united states of america! >> i'm not going to go anywhere. i'm going to stay with you. >> crisis hot line took best documentary short, a snapshot of the volunteers who man the phones, talking to war veterans with post traumatic stress disorder out of taking their own lives. >> in the end, if you publish the source material, i will be immediately indicated. >> the story of edward snowden's leaks about the n.s.a.'s mass surveillance program, filmed by the journalists who helped him from the start. the big night is over. was it an evening of surprises? no, the predictions were pretty much spot on. there have been controversies, but the academy picked the films
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it likes and there are 25 very happy winners. >> there's plenty more on the oscars winners and loser at aljazeera.com. [ ♪ music ♪ ] this week on "talk to al jazeera." author, globe trotter and commentator on race and culture, taiye selasi. >> there is a sense that certain people have to explain their presence. to say that racism is not that race isn't felt. >> the london born, twin daughter of african parents raises the question where are you from? >> it may mean a bit about your background, or i'd like to

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